ICYMI: Big Labor Exploits New NMB Rules To Force AirTran Employees To Unionize


Big Labor Exploits New NMB Rules To Force AirTran Employees To Unionize

March 29, 2011

WFI Blog

Last year the National Mediation Board, a little known bureaucratic agency inWashington, fundamentally changed how the airline and railroad industries are unionized in favor of Big Labor’s forced unionization agenda.  This latest bailout provided to Big Labor by the Obama Administration for its past political support, upends nearly a century of precedent whereby a majority of workers are required to form a collective bargaining unit as opposed to only a majority of those voting in a union election.

The NMB ruling was on full display recently:

“The machinists’ union won an election Monday to represent about 2,900 fleet and reservations employees at AirTran Airways with 34 percent of the vote.

“The National Mediation Board released results Monday that showed 994 workers favored the union, 870 opposed it, and the rest – 36 percent of workers eligible to vote – declined to cast ballots.

“The machinists won because of a 2010 change in the rule governing such elections. Previously workers who didn’t cast ballots were counted as ‘no’ votes. But last year, the mediation board changed the rule to recognize a union if a majority of workers casting ballots favor representation…”

Fortunately, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the FAA Reauthorization Bill this week that would overturn the NMB’s ruling.  In particular, Title IX of the legislation would restore the rights of workers in the rail and airline industries to ensure that their benefits, wages and hours are not held hostage by a minority of the workforce.

In 2008, Big Labor spent millions to help elect its allies and they made it clear they expected “payback.”  When their number one priority, the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act, was stalled in Congress by the power of the small businesses community and workers, Big Labor changed course ensuring that bureaucratic agencies were forcing workers into unions by fiat .

Congress can send a powerful message this week by voting to stop forced unionization through regulatory backdoors.  These undemocratic and un-American NMB rules need to be reversed.  It’s time that someone stands up to Big Labor and in favor of American workers’ rights.